News / Africa

Amid Conflict, Mali's Weak Economy Worries Economists

A motorcyclist waves his support as French troops in two armored personnel carriers drive through Mali's capital Bamako on the road to Mopti, January 15, 2013.
A motorcyclist waves his support as French troops in two armored personnel carriers drive through Mali's capital Bamako on the road to Mopti, January 15, 2013.
Heather Murdock
The World Bank says it is accelerating its support for Mali's government as the country’s economy slows.  Surrounded by impoverished countries, the bank worries that a prolonged conflict in Mali could damage the region’s already fragile economy. 

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, in the middle of one of the poorest regions in the world.  Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund rank Mali and six of its seven neighbors among the world’s 50 poorest countries.

The crisis in Mali that has already drawn troops from France and Nigeria is making things worse economically for Mali and its trading partners.

“Mali’s a landlocked country and a lot of the economic activity is imports, based on either the truck industry in neighboring countries or the port.  The Port of Dakar has a lot of activity linked to Mali so a slow down in port in Mali will affect a slow down in some of these activities,” said World Bank Vice President for Africa Mouktar Diop in the Nigerian capital Tuesday.

  • A French soldier holds his weapon in the village of Sarakala, Mali, January 18, 2013.
  • Goats walk past a French military convoy refuelling in Markala, Mali, January 18, 2013.
  • People cross a strategic bridge over a dam on the Niger River secured by French forces in Markala, Mali, January 18, 2013.
  • A Malian soldier checks the identity of people crossing a strategic bridge over a dam on the Niger River secured by French forces in Markala, Mali, January 18, 2013.
  • French military vehicles drive to the north of Mali, at an undisclosed location, January 16, 2013. (French Army Communication Audiovisual Office)
  • French helicopters are towed to the military side of Bamako's airport, Mali, January 16, 2013.
  • A motorcyclist waves his support as French troops in two armored personnel carriers drive through Mali's capital Bamako on the road to Mopti, January 15, 2013.
  • French soldiers walk past a hangar they are staying at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013.
  • French soldiers test equipment at the Malian air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013.
  • French air force technicians work on a Mirage F-1 fighter jet at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013.
  • A French soldiers lies on his mattress in a hangar at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013.

Mali’s economic growth has already slowed considerably, he says, and its neighbors like Ivory Coast and Senegal are losing business.

“You have, for instance, a few products linked to low-income consumption which was produced in neighboring countries and exported in[to] Mali.  So a slow down of that sector will affect those producers,” said Diop. 

Diop says the World Bank is working to speed up aid programs that were halted briefly last year after a coup left the bank without a known government to support.  He says the bank is also working on a plan to lend direct support to Mali’s national budget. 

The real economic disaster, he says - the one that could make West Africa’s population even poorer - will come only if the conflict drags on, increasing the number of displaced people and leaving the 350,000 already displaced dependent on aid to survive.

Mali's government lost control of the north last April, after renegade soldiers overthrew the president.  Tuareg separatists initially swept into northern cities and proclaimed an independent state, but were soon pushed aside by Islamist militant groups with links to al-Qaida and the goal of imposing a strict form of Sharia.

Along with France and Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal and Togo are also planning to send troops to Mali.  Rebels say French intervention has initiated a war that will be longer and more brutal than Afghanistan or Somalia.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Fred Flintsone
January 16, 2013 1:02 PM
Mali has considerable mineral resources. Like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya they have rich resources, neither Sudan where world has watched 2 million die nor Rwanda where 1.5 died do. Thought you might like to know that Voice of America.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid